The Law Offices of John Phebus

Arizona man faces up to 71 years in prison for bank robbery

On Nov. 17, an Arizona man pleaded guilty to federal bank robbery charges in a U.S. district court. He was previously convicted of robbing three Maricopa County banks.

According to authorities, the defendant robbed the BNC National Bank in Stanley on the morning of Aug. 15. When he entered his guilty pleas, the 59-year-old told the judge that he walked into the bank and told them "to empty their drawer and put it in the little bag I had." Later that same day, he entered the Dacotah Bank in Minot and repeated his crime. He claimed that he didn't have a weapon and never threatened violence to anyone. Authorities said they were able to quickly identify and arrest him because of the distinctive shirt he wore while committing the robberies. A gas station security camera captured his image while he was wearing the same shirt and investigators were able to trace his license plate number.

The defendant, who is a truck driver, made off with a total of $10,911, which has never been recovered. He told the judge he robbed the banks because he was deeply in debt due to a slowdown at work, expenses for a work vehicle and $45,000 in emergency medical bills. He faces between 46 and 71 years in prison. Sentencing has been set for Feb. 17.

Arizona residents charged with felonies or other serious crimes can face harsh consequences, including a lengthy prison term, if they are convicted. However, a a criminal defense attorney can often review the evidence that the prosecution has disclosed for inconsistencies or inaccuracies that could be used in a defendant's favor.

Source: The Bismarck Tribune, "Arizona man pleads guilty to bank robbery charges," Andrew Sheeler, Nov. 17, 2015

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